Category Archives: Homesteading

20 Years Later, Diaries, Letters, Homesteading

We bought this house 20 years ago. When we moved in I stuffed a box of things from my old life in the attic and just pulled it down today. This box has stuff in it from 34 years ago.  So much fun!!! Diaries from when I lived on a farm and collected eggs from the chickens, milked the cow, played music, and wrote letters.  This particular segment of time is from when our family left the 11 sided log cabin we had built in Low Gap, Newton County and moved to a more developed farm with pastures and fences, old barns, a well, fruit trees, and a creek nearby.  I loved the place, and it wasn’t until 30 years later that I made the realization that it was a shack.  It didn’t feel like that to me.  My dad used to joke that I could freeze a pan of water in my room over night.  That may have been true, but it was my room, and my canopy bed from when my dad had a computer job and my mom made a point of buying me a completely new set of bedroom furniture.  I loved it.

January 1, 1982
Dear Diary,
My bird died last night.

January 5, 1982
Dear Diary,
Today we went to Harrison for the first time in 3 months. We had a bundle of fun.
Bye

This may seem insignificant to random people reading it. But when I say we went to Harrison for the first time in 3 months that means it was a big deal. We lived in the woods and rarely got out. Harrison was the closest town where we could get supplies. We didn’t really see a ton of people out there.

January 12, 1982
It was the first snow of the winter today.

January 19, 1982
We moved in today

January 25, 1982
We went to Jasper, Harrison, and Alpena. I got some new shoes. Jumped 2 1/2 sizes.

January 28, 1982
I ran 3 fingers through the ringer. Dad and Ned put up a fence.

The ringer is an outdoor washing machine with a “ringer” to ring out the clothes.  It was my job to wash clothes with this machine.  The hazards of this machine were that if you weren’t careful putting clothes through the ringer you could mash the ever loving bejeezus out of your hands.  Another hazard of this machine was that there must have been some electrical wire exposed or something because I distinctively remember getting shocked with the damn thing. 

Sometimes I took the laundry in a wheelbarrow down to the creek and washed it.  I remember losing a pillow case that way.

January 29, 1982
It has been a month since mom stopped smoking.

January 30, 1982
It snowed about 6 or 7 inches. Soon I shall get enough cash to buy a bird. It will survive.

January 31, 1982 (Sunday)
There’s not much to say. Bye.

February 1, 1982
I’m building igloo. Mom’s in a bad mood.

February 4, 1982
We ate at Pamela’s and Ned’s.  Made paper dolls with Meg.

Ned and Pamela Whitlock sold us our farm.  They had apple orchards up on the mountain from us.  I remember talk about his dad getting wealthy from oil.  I hear that Ned is in Hawaii now, still farming.

February 5, 1982
We got a cow.

February 6, 1982
I’m almost done with my rug. I started it again today.

I learned how to crochet about this time.  This particular rug referenced here was a very colorful single crochet stitch.

February 7, 1982
Saw a Bald Eagle.  Cardinals come to the bird feeder now.  Got a pulley with a well.  Bye

My main job was to haul water from the well.  The pulley helped lower the bucket down.  Pretty nifty.  We didn’t have running water at the time.

February 13, 1982
Mom went visiting with Pam.  Hard day for me.  She doesn’t realize that I had to wear shorts today.

Not sure what that is about.

February 14, 1982
Made a cake.  Spring!!

February 18, 1982
Miserable.  Tooth pulled.

February 20,
Went to Low Gap.  Saw Phillips, Ray Rylee, Mariere,  Ruth.  Jack spent the night.  Saw Superman and Airplane.

February 21, 1982
Carrolle and Barb came and got Jackie.

February 22, 1982
Got our dog Sally today.

February 24, 1982
Pam and Shelly came today.  Rob chopped his thumb.

Rob’s (my brother’s) main chore was chopping wood.  He used to love seeing how close he could come to his thumb on the top of the log he was chopping.  I distinctively remember him doing this.  Goob.

There was a lot going on around this move to Possum Trot, Osage in Carroll County.  We were getting settled in there.  So glad to reconnect with this.  Can’t wait to see what else is in this box.

 

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